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Fifth Sunday Of Easter

Worship
Lectionary Worship Workbook
Series IV, Cycle A
Hymns
In You, Lord, I Have Put My Trust (PH183)
Christ Is Made The Sure Foundation (NCH400, UM559, PH416, 417)
Christ Is Our Cornerstone (CBH43)
Come, O Spirit, Dwell Among Us (PH129)
O Jesus, I Have Promised
(NCH493)
Here, O God, Your Servants Gather
(NCH72, CHB7, PH465)
Halleluiah! What A Savior
(UM165)
Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life
(NCH331)

Anthems
Step By Step, Worship And Praise, 132
When Stephen Full Of Power And Grace, Richard Peck, H. W. Gray, SATB
Dear Lord, Lead Me Day By Day, Jane Marshall, Unison
Celebrate The Good News, Tom Mitchell, CGA, 2--part

Call to Worship
Leader:
You are a chosen race,
Men:A royal priesthood,
Women:A holy nation
All:God's own people,
Leader:In order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness
People:Into his marvelous light.
Leader:Once you were not a people,
People:But now we are God's people;
Leader:Once you had not received mercy,
People:But now we have received mercy.
All:Let us worship God.

Call to Confession
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God. Let us bring our confessions before the God who loves us. Let us pray.

Prayer of Confession
Wonderful God, we come to you today confessing our confusion over your word. We don't read the Bible very often, and we know we should. It offers us insight into what you would have us do in our everyday living. But sometimes the scripture passages are very difficult, and other times they are confusing. We read them and say, "What does this have to do with life in the twenty--first century?" or, "I just don't believe that Jesus meant to say that." Help us, God, to continue to find great meaning in this Holy Book. Forgive our doubts. Open our ears to hear what you would have us hear. Give us new confidence that you are talking to us through this ancient book. Help us to hear the stories with new energy, seeking wisdom in its pages. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
Hear the good news! Jesus came to save us from our sins. What a great gift we have been given. Alleluia! Amen.

Scripture Readings
1 Peter 2:2--10: Have a choral speaking choir say this 1 Peter passage. Have each member of the choir hold a stone about the size of a fist. As they read the passage have members place a stone on the altar or communion table during the reading of verses 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 - every time the word "stone" is mentioned. The stones could be flat so that they could be placed like an "Ebenezer," or if they are more round, just placed together. The rest of the decorations might include a larger rock (perhaps one of the lightweight, fake rocks about two feet tall), flowers, and a small church.

John 14:1--14: This passage is a discussion between Jesus and his followers. Three members of the choral speaking choir might step forward from the rest and have this conversation. It would be important that they memorize their lines. The speakers would be Jesus, Thomas, and Philip. Leave out the phrases "Jesus said to him," "Thomas said to him," and so on.

Call to Offering
God is our rock of refuge and our strong fortress. May our offering today help those around the world who need refuge and a strong fortress to protect them from war, hunger, and homelessness. The ushers will wait upon us for the morning offering.

Litany of Dedication
Leader:God is our rock
People:And our salvation.
Leader:Whom shall we fear?
People:Our fear is in our God, who has given us many blessings.
Leader:We offer these gifts to you, God. May they help others to know you, and find help in times of struggle.
People:We use these gifts in your name, our rock and our redeemer. Amen.

Benediction
Leader:The church's foundation is built upon God, the cornerstone.
People:We offer ourselves as a foundation of living stones.
Leader:Through your faith others can lean on you and begin their own faith journey.
People:Make us a cornerstone of faith. Christ is our cornerstone.
Leader.Have faith. Believe. Amen.
UPCOMING WEEKS
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by John Sumwalt
Psalm 98

Let the floods clap their hands;
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 at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
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In the mid-1960s, a popular song declared, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of.”1 It was an era of both national and international unrest. And the American landscape was reeling from the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, and opposition to both. Amidst headlines so marked by unrest and division, therefore, the sentiment of the song struck a chord with an American audience. 
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Bonnie Bates
Acts 10:44-48
Prejudice is always wrong. Nat King Cole is a well-known artist who was the first African American to host his own national television program. In 1948, he purchased a beautiful home in an exclusive Los Angeles neighborhood. When the local neighborhood association confronted him and informed him it didn’t want any undesirables to move in, Cole responded, “Neither do I. If I see any coming in here, I’ll be the first to complain.” He lived in that house until his death in 1965.

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John Jamison
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (vv. 9-12)

Hi, everyone! (Let them respond.)

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:

Jesus gave up his life for us. In our worship today let us explore how to love one another as he has loved us.


Invitation to Confession:

Jesus, sometimes our love for each other is thin and pale.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes we pretend to love but fail to care.
Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes we don't know how to love.
Lord, have mercy.

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John E. Sumwalt
Jo Perry-sumwalt
One evening, when I was 26 years old, beleagered by guilt for acknowledged sins, I was deep into an hour-long prayer of repentance. In despair, I grieved that I had broken the commandments and that I was not worthy of God's love.

Near me lay the Bible, unused and unfamiliar. I had never, ever read from the Bible. Yet my hands reached out and took the Bible to open it. I knew not where, nor why. But my hands knew the way. They opened to John 15:9-11 and as my eyes began to read, my mind knew the meaning with clarity. My eyes read verse 10 first:
Mark Ellingsen
Theme of the Day
God's love brings us together.

Collect of the Day
It is noted that God has prepared great joy for those who love Him. Petitions are then offered that such love may be poured into the hearts of the faithful so that they may obtain these promises. Justification as a reward for our deeds (love) is communicated by this prayer.

Psalm of the Day
Psalm 98
Stan Purdum
(See Christmas Day, Cycles A and B, for alternative approaches.)

Richard E. Gribble
Once upon a time a great and powerful king ruled over a vast territory. There was something very strange about this kingdom, however -- everything was the same. The people ate the same food, drank the same drink, wore the same clothes, and lived in the same type of homes. The people even did all the same work. There was another oddity about this place. Everything was gray -- the food, the drink, the clothes, the houses; there were no other colors.

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